keithjennison October 27, 2008

You have doubtless noticed that every time you go shopping, your bill is higher and the number of bags you leave with are fewer than just a month ago. The prices of staple items, such as sugar, bread, coffee and butter jump every week, to a new high. Last week, you might have said, “This is ridiculous!” This week, it’s just downright depressing. Nonetheless, you know that somehow, you’ve got to manage, but it’s getting harder. Here are some inexpensive, family dinner recipe ideas that will help you manage your food budget and not bore the family to tears. Even your kids will find these recipe ideas tasty and fun.

Budget-friendly family dinner recipe ideas even kids can like
Back in the 1950s, casseroles were a favorite family dinner recipe idea. Mom was very clever in disguising a couple of cans of tuna, cream of mushroom soup, noodles, a package of frozen peas and a few crushed potato chips as a topping. This was the famous tuna casserole, simple to make and very inexpensive. This dish deserves a revival in today’s kitchen. Perhaps it’s the chips, browned in the oven as a crispy garnish, that made it so popular with kids. This casseroles is so versatile, in that you can substitute any meat, soup and veggie. Just leave the noodles and potato chips intact and you’ve got a generic, budget-friendly and ever popular family dinner recipe.

Now the price of many meats has hit that benchmark of ridiculous. Fortunately, chicken is still something you can toss in the shopping cart without having a heart attack over the price. It’s also a happy fact that chicken is also one of those family dinner recipe ideas you can work and rework in so many ways. Most kids like chicken too. A whole chicken can be stuffed with a rice filling or conventional stuffing and baked. Fried chicken is cheap and easy. With one chicken, you can make a huge pot of chicken soup. Leftover chicken becomes a taco, enchilada, chef’s salad, or tomorrow’s sandwich. Don’t forget that generic casserole we talked about.

Rice and pasta are still bargains, compared with a jar of peanut butter or a gallon of milk. These grains can form the basis of dozens of family dinner recipes that keep your food budget in line. Both provide good opportunities to use up leftover bits of meat and veggies, so you’ll not waste your food money on a frig ’science project’. More on Family Dinner Recipe Ideas.